E-Business: E-Mail Marketing Gets to Places Other Campaigns Fail to Reach

Article excerpt

Byline: Amy Watson

E-mail marketing in the UK is still in its infancy.

Despite the fact that e-mail has become more popular than postal mail in the UK, with the number of e-mails being sent and received by UK households recently passed the 300 million mark, relatively few businesses seem to be using it on a regular basis to find new prospects and keep in touch with customers. I think that there a number of good reasons why UK businesses should look to the example of the US where e-mail marketing has recently overtaken direct mail as the main method of generating sales leads.

Whereas most direct mail campaigns are considered to be successful if they achieve a response rate of two per cent, typical response rates for a well-run e-mail campaign are around 20-30 per cent.

Much of the reason for this must be the ease of response. All potential customers should have to do is hit a reply button or click through to a website - much easier than calling a sales number or faxing back a reply slip.

When I talk about well-run campaigns I really mean those that take advantage of the informal, chatty style most people adopt when writing an e-mail. Writing messages that are natural in tone and contain directly relevant information, sent to smaller groups of customers in my experience get good results.

Marketers call this personalisation. Personalising marketing messages and delivering them via e-mail may take a bit more research and planning but the results make the extra effort worthwhile.

We all like to be treated like individuals. Mass communications sending a generic message to a broad spectrum of people fail to do this - and almost always fail to get a response as a result.

Have you ever spent money on an ad campaign only to wonder whether it was money well spent? …